BY Sports Reporter
Warriors team manager Wellington Mpandare has expressed dismay at the attack on Zifa by Macauley Bonne’s handlers following a botched attempt to get the player a Zimbabwean passport in time to represent the country at the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon).
The former Leyton Orient player is reportedly devastated after his dream to don the Zimbabwe jersey at the continent’s premier football tournament currently underway failed.
However, the 23-year-old made a big stride in his career when he signed a deal with English Championship side, Charlton Athletic, last week.
But following Zifa’s failure to obtain a Zimbabwean passport in time for Afcon, Bonne’s manager Mathew David Halford of Oakmont Black Sports took to Twitter to
vent his frustrations accusing the association of incompetence.
“The sheer incompetence of Zifa and Zimbabwe handling Macauley Bonne’s passport issue is staggering. We filed documentation over two months ago. Despite our
best efforts, the negligence of unnamed individuals has disappointed fans and players alike! Embarrassing!” read the tweet that stirred a lot of debate.
Warriors coach Sunday Chidzambwa had left the door open for the 23-year-old forward, but his failure to obtain a Zimbabwean passport before the CAF deadline
forced him to exclude him from the final squad.
Mpandare, who has been starring in courting players with Zimbabwean nots to consider playing for the country, has defended Zifa.
“I spoke to the manager and clarified issues with him, but I don’t know why he thought of criticising the association. “You can’t start to blame Zifa because
they haven’t done anything wrong. Zifa is not the Registrar- General’s Office and they are not the Ministry of Home Affairs. Blaming Zifa when you know that
you will work with them in future is uncalled for. But we are not giving up on Bonne,” Mpandare and from the Warriors’ base in Egypt in an exclusive interview.
“In Bonne’s case, he submitted his papers, but still he fell short of the requirements and in such a situation measures have to be taken to go through the
Sports Commission and the Office of the President where a waiver can be granted.
“But because of time limits, it was not possible to pursue all the channels, but I am sure if he had submitted at the same time with Tendai Darikwa he could
have played even three games of the qualifiers because we had time,” he added.
Mpandare revealed that they had spoken to Bonne and assured him that they would push for his passport soon after Afcon.
“I spoke to Bonne and he is heartbroken because he really wanted to come, but unfortunately it was beyond our control, beyond his control and beyond Zifa’s
control,” he said.
“We will push and hope that he gets his papers before the next assignment, which is the World Cup qualifiers. It’s an opportunity missed, but he is still
young, he can feature in the Afcon and World Cup qualifiers.”
Bonne had a brilliant run with Orient in the last two campaigns and helped them gain promotion into the EFL League Two with more than 20 goals in back-to-back
seasons, earning himself comparisons with England striker Jamie Vardy.
The 23-year-old forward had also been linked with Premier League side Leicester City as well as English Championship side Sunderland before he settled for